Monday, June 3, 2013

Beautifully Ugly

Nearly two years ago, I was poking through a thrift store in search of things to fill our first house. After selling all of our belongings so we could move halfway across the country and into my parent's spare bedroom, Dave and I needed everything... and I'm not too keen on paying full price or anything conventional, so we set    out to the antique stores. It was 2 pm, we'd been at it all day and I hadn't found anything affordable that I remotely liked and I was about to get cranky (... ok I'd already gotten a bit cranky) when I notice a cardboard box taped up under a table.

 Inside, laid an entire five piece table setting for five (with a few odd extras). I was instantly in love. My love grew even bigger when the owner sold the whole box for twenty bucks. TWENTY!!!

Fast forward two years, the plates have been used daily, the mini bowls are perfect for Jude's purees and the cups are always used for tea or as a scoop.

Then at his 12 month appointment, Jude's blood test came back with a lead level of 4.5 (5 is considered dangerous) The doctor went through a list of things that could be the problem, but most of them had to do with old houses, ours was built five years ago, so that was obviously not the problem.
We went home with the promise of another blood test in three months and a lot of confusion... and panic.

That night, as I reached into the cabinet for my beloved dishes, it hit me... antique dishes. I flipped the plate over and read words "made in China". My stomach clenched.

The next day, I grabbed a lead test and with one swipe across the pretty flowers changed the applicator's colors. I was right - this entire past year, I'd been feeding my baby lead. My obsessive need to have only pretty things and to reuse as much as possible has literally been poisoning my family.

I wanted to share the moral of this story with whoever would read it. Please make sure you test any dishes you use that may have been crafted before 1970 (when using lead in paint was made illegal in America) or that come from outside of the country. 

I still can't decide what to do with the dishes, I certainly won't be using them in the kitchen. But they're too pretty to trash and a can't sell them to someone else who may eat off them. Anyone have ideas? I'd love to hear from you.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Out and About

A lot has happened since my last post. Including the loss of our good friend and pet, Juno.

I never really understood the pets=family until we adopted Juno. She was our baby before Jude was born and it was (still is) hard to say good bye.

So, to get our minds off things, the four of us (Moose included) packed up and took off to our first hike of the year. This one just west of Westminster. 

A great adventure for new families, the falls are just a few minutes walk down a gravel path.

Thought the day was hot and the whole ride up here (40 minutes maybe) felt sticky, up against the falls the air was cool and crisp... I didn't want to leave.

But Dave said there was more to see, so we were off again.

Wild Irises
Personally, I think the wild ones are much prettier than the domestic.

Moose loved the tall grass and spent most of the stroll darting in and out of the field.

Thousands of tiny frogs covered the path. They were about half the size of a dime and we had to walk really slow to keep from stepping on any.

The lake is closed to fishers until Nov 2014, but that didn't mean we couldn't enjoy the scenery or the frogs croaking.

Check out the Mountain Laurel! I'm definitely going to plant some of these at home.

We stopped for a water break and so Jude could stretch his legs (and Momma could rest a bit).

I can't beleive he's walking! 

Then we packed back into the car, turned up the air conditioning, and hurried home for a long nap.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hello Spring

My favorite time of the year? Strawberry Season!

So it was no surprise that this morning, my "Extra" Mother's Day surprise was a day at the Hardy Berry Farm.
The season is a little slow this year, but there was enough to go around. Sorry for the lack of photos, but we were way too busy having fun (and stuffing ourselves) to bother with cameras.

Nothing is better (in my opinion) than that first strawberry. As you pick through the patch, moving broad green leaves and checking underneath for those hideaway  you see the one. Deep scarlet and so full of juice it shines. You place the stem between two finger and gently tug the strawberry away until a sharp snap separates the cap from the bush and you pop the plump morsel in you mouth. Still warm, it melts in you mouth and tastes like the promise of summer. Its began! no more hours freezing right up against the heat vent or hiding from icy rain. The air with brisk, the sun is warm, and everything is right.

An hour later, the Hubby was paying our bill as I was imagining the sweet jam that would be covering the kitchen counters tonight.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

50 and Counting

Last Saturday day, we celebrated my Mom's 50th birthday. My sisters and I planned the whole thing... it was going to be awesome! A little Red Rover, a hula-hoop contest, and a big bon fire.... then Mother Nature stepped in and poured 6 inchs of rain right onto our parade. 
Luckly, we were able to rush inside and have the last streamer in place before the first guest arrived. 

My sisters and I are quite the nifty ones.

Michelle, Tiffany, and I with a shout out to our Mom.

My Oldest Sister and Mom.

One of my favorite parts of the day? The photo wall! All these photos (plus many more) are being printed and bound into a custom photo guest book as I type.

Ten dollars worth of grocery store flowers and a few clippings from the back yard gave the feeling of and outdoor party despite the gully-washer outside.

Mom's favorite thing? Lemons. Ergo the lemonade, lemon cake and, well... lemons... everywhere.

Chocolate cake pops sweetened up this sour dessert bar and fresh strawberries added some well needed color. 

Everyone keeps asking about the jars. Yes, they look antique. But they're brand new! Ball jars produced vintage throw backs as a nod to all of us who are obsessed with the turquoisy-blue wonders. I paid less than 10 bucks for six!

I went a little streamer happy...

My first ever attempt at flower arrangement. Not the best ever, but there's potential.

So, although there were no games, no bonfire, and the lighting sucked, Saturday turned out the be great... Awesome even!

Next up, Jude's 1st Birthday!! I'm going to be partied out by August.

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